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PLI is devoted to empowering leaders for wider influence for the sake of the gospel in their communities and effective leadership in their ministries. Learn more about our vision and process here.

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7 Simple Steps to Better Focus as a Leader

FOCUS. Most leaders don’t focus well.

Life just happens. They don’t prioritize. Next year will look a lot like last year. A little better…a little worse.  There’s something inherently evil in most leaders’ minds about being FOCUSED. FOCUS implies…

  • Accountability to themselves.
  • Accountability to others.
  • An expectation that something will actually result. That something should result.

It’s better to live in the gray shadows of busy-ness than in the bright sunlight that could risk a failed FOCUS! @jockficken Click To Tweet

Church leaders find it doubly hard to focus.

  • Incessant demands
  • Awkward schedules
  • Unplanned interruptions

They all scream against…

  • Taking control of priorities,
  • Giving direction to life, and
  • Allocating attention and energy.

My guess? You’re in the overwhelming majority of leaders that fight against focus.

PLI FocusedMy second guess? If you’ve been knocked down in the pit (like Elijah) and lost confidence or clarity or your own sense of calling as a ministry leader, you need someone who can regularly share the burden, speak a word of grace, and spot the hand of God at work.

My third guess? The life that you lead and the congregation that you lead is paying a heavy price because you resist biting the bullet and getting FOCUSED. You, personally, as a leader…getting FOCUSED.

When leaders get better, everyone benefits.

Leaders too frequently refuse to take responsibility for leading God-inspired things forward.

Strong words! What do I know?

Well, I know I don’t like the personal discipline or the accountability of FOCUS. I want “everything” to be a focus, until I experience its results.

So, here’s my challenge for you… You’re going to keep doing much of what you’re already doing. Right? But what about a FOCUS on one thing, big or small…let’s do small…for the next 45 days. Don’t aim at urgent. Go for important. Something important to your well being, to vibrancy of the believers you lead, to wider influence in your community.

My fourth and final guess? Many of the leaders who enroll in PLI (3 new learning communities start this fall) have decided that it’s time (usually together with their spouse) to FOCUS on some serious capacity building in the area of leadership or discipleship or mission.

So, here’s a Simple Way to Go! Don’t make this difficult!

1. Write a quick FOCUS list. You probably already know…

  • A God prompting.
  • A “need to grow” area.
  • An “improve your game” for your church, your soul, your family.

2. Have a conversation and make a choice.

3. Write it down. Seriously. Just write it down.

4. Describe the benefit.

5. Tell someone and tell them you want to report progress to them.

6. Measure it for the next 45 days.

7. And if you want, promise yourself a reward, a payoff, when you finish.

PLI Leadership BenefitsAnd, if back at my second guess is you? The “no confidence, no clarity, no calling” pit? Your focus needs to be a person or place that regularly listens and invests and speaks boldly into your life…until you’re out of the pit! Period. Too much is at stake to do anything else.

Lots of what’s going right in our lives and ministries today is a result of a past focus. Right?

I did this a month or so ago. I chose a simple tweak. To journal the front portion of my praying. (I used to do this.) A small addition. Slow me down. Review the events of my life better with God. Thanksgiving… Petition… Intervention… 7 days a week. I’ve been hitting about 5 days a week. My soul is healthier.

So, why not…

  1. Hit the share button below and invite a couple of friends or leaders or peers to join you if you’re not already doing FOCUS well.
  2. Start together. Stay together.
  3. Contact Raechel if it’s time to “bite the bullet” for some serious discipleship, leadership or mission FOCUS.
  4. And if you want, let me know your FOCUS and how it’s going.

Dr. Jock Ficken
Rev. Dr. Jock Ficken

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